Grain elevator fire that forced evacuation of Prelate, Sask. still burning Tuesday evening
Concern over tanker cars sent more than 100 people from homes in western Saskatchewan village
A massive grain elevator fire that led to the evacuation of more than 100 people from their homes Tuesday morning in southwestern Saskatchewan was still burning into the evening.
At around 5 a.m. CST, people in the village of Prelate woke up to see a giant fireball lighting up the sky.
Due to the fire's proximity to a number of parked tanker railcars, everyone was asked to leave their homes as a safety precaution.
"It was huge," said volunteer firefighter Jason Gizen. "The whole elevator was fully in flames."
Firefighters went door to door, making sure everyone was out of their homes. Residents were allowed to return once the tanker cars were moved to a safe location.
Gizen and the rest of the fire department focused on containing the fire, making sure it didn't spread. Gizen owns a seed-processing plant just 180 metres away, but it wasn't damaged.
"Luckily the wind was blowing from the northwest, away from town" he said. "There were big fire embers blowing in the air, and they were landing 300 to 400 metres away and the grass was starting on fire in different spots."
The elevator was still in use and was storing organic grain at the time of the fire.
It's still not clear what caused the fire, which continued burning into the evening.
Prelate is located about 340 kilometres west of Regina.
The fire now at Prelate <a href="https://t.co/LyhmPJlJmG">pic.twitter.com/LyhmPJlJmG</a>—@gizen_jason